Meet the Courageous and Calm Black Russian Terrier Why This Breed Is So Special

Black Russian Terrier photo
Giant Breed Hip Dysplasia Elbow Dysplasia Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) Black Russian Terrier

Is the Black Russian Terrier right for you?

  • 1 Black Russian Terriers are most known for their intelligence and strength.
  • 2 They prefer to be kept busy with activities or tasks and should not be left alone.
  • 3 Black Russian puppies respond to firm training and excel at obedience competitions.


The Black Russian Terrier was first bred by the Russian Military, who were trying to create the ideal working/warrior dog; a dog that would work continuously, even in the harsh conditions of Russia. Bred from the Giant Schnauzer, Rottweiler, Airedale Terrier, and more, the Black Russian Terrier was the product of especially selective breeding, yielding one of the best all around working dogs on the planet. They were first recognized by the AKC in 2004.

Quick Facts

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    Extra Large

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    10 or 15 years

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    Hair Length


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    Male Height

    25-29 inches

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    Male Weight

    80-143 pounds

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    Female Height

    25-28 inches

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    Female Weight

    80-143 pounds

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    Litter Size

    6 and 12 puppies


The Black Russian Terrier is an exceptional working breed. They are calm, brave, loyal, hard working, and stoic. Their innate characteristics include guarding, protecting, and wanting to assist in any way possible. As puppies, they are very curious and will endlessly explore. They are great with families and children, craving human contact and being the very model of the gentle giant, unless called upon to protect. They get along well with other animals and small dogs, but may get into power struggles with other large dogs unless they are both unquestionably subservient to their owner. .


The Black Russian Terrier is typically black, or black with some specks of gray. For show dogs, if there is gray, it should be evenly distributed, not patches of gray.

Health Concerns

Though a breed that has a long lifespan, the Black Russian Terrier is found to be susceptible to hereditary ailments like:

  • hip dysplasia
  • progressive retinal atrophy (PRA)
  • elbow dysplasia

Black Russian Terriers are large, sturdily built, powerful dogs. They have a boxy head that is covered in long, straight fur, like their Schnauzer relatives. They have small, triangular ears that hang down by the side of their head. Their fur is thick and wavy, longer on their head, frequently growing in like bangs that end up obscuring their eyes. They also have massive paws.

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